|208 pp paperback with flaps and b&w drawings|
ISBN 978 1 897959 62 6
£11 / $14
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Translated by Peter Bush
Illustrations by Julian Bell
Lorca's first book, published when he was just nineteen, is collection of meditations on Spanish art, landscapes and history. With the passion and excitement of a young writer finding his voice, he travels around Spain in pursuit of its essential spirit: sunsets in Granada, the Gothic magnificence of Burgos Cathedral, the 'savage splendour' of Castile's mountains and plains. While Lorca celebrated Spanish culture - romantic gardens, medieval sculpture, Gregorian plainchant and 'the bite of flamenco' - he was also fearlessly critical when, for example, the harshness and celibacy of monks' lives or poverty and injustice aroused his rage.
Serif's is the first UK edition of this formative work by one of the twentieth century's greatest writers, and is embellished by Julian Bell's evocative illustrations, which take the reader straight to the heart of Lorca's Spain. With its rich, poetic prose, Sketches of Spain is a missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of a creative life cut tragically short by the author's assassination at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
'He was the first poet that ever touched me'
'If they had launched a careful search into every corner of Spain ... they could not have found anyone better than Lorca to represent the popular soul.'
'Lorca's words sing off the page ... These essays show more than a great writer in the making. They show Spain as we have never seen it before.'
'To render into readable English Lorca's early prose, deeply in debt to the vocabulary and tics of modernismo, is a daunting task, and it seems to me that Peter Bush has risen splendidly to this almost impossible challenge.'
'Both the terms 'sketches' and 'impressions' capture absolutely the style and form of the book. Its significance lies in the way that it's possible to see and, most importantly in the case of Lorca, hear him finding his extraordinary voice, Peter Bush's translation is brilliantly fluid and inhabits Lorca?s poetic spirit beautifully. Julian Bell's drawings have something of the same impressionistic, hazy, tentative quality as the prose, and make the perfect travel companion.'
Michael Langan, Polari
'Much to cherish ... particularly memorable.'